Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Max Raynor
Color Artist: Matt Herms
Cover Artist: Steve Beach
Publisher: DC Comics
Disaster strikes! It appears that Otho has attacked a Blue Earth protest and killed someone. Or so it seems. There’s more to this protest than it appears as Jon and the kids find out. But more is at work with Metallo, as the voice in his head becomes more demanding, making the supervillain more brazen and dangerous. Read Action Comics #1054 to see how far Metallo will go and what Superman will do to stop him.
Now, those who read my review of Action Comics #1054 might’ve been wondering why I didn’t bring up Otho attacking the Blue Earth protestors. Simple, it was a clear setup. At first, readers might think it’s the Old God power getting to her, but with the way the Necrohive can blend in among crowds, it didn’t take much to put two and two together, especially since Metallo explicitly makes his drones from the Blue Earth movement. So, it was obvious that it was all a trap for the Super Family.
What we do get is definitely more action from this comic than the last one, and that’s a welcome addition. On top of that, what gives the fights more engagement is the fact that Phillip Kennedy Johnson infuses them with a lot of emotion, which helps that he’s already put in the legwork to make readers care enough about his Super Family and the new kids Clark and Lois adopted. It also helps that Johnson greatly captures how Superman handles dangerous supervillains without losing his composure or his morals in the process, making him come off as a seasoned superhero and nailing the characterization of Superman all at once.
The comic does give fans the big fight between Superman and Metallo. Even before that, the depiction of Metallo and his Necrohive drones is great, their skin just sagging or barely hanging on to their metallic bodies brought to life by the bright green kryptonite. The fight between Superman and Metallo is cool and well-illustrated though it is pretty short to be honest, but what sells this fight is the resolution and how Superman talks to him, firm but fair and willing to give him another chance by helping take down the one really behind the attacks and save Metallo’s sister.
Some will definitely look at how Superman resolves things with Metallo and roll their eyes. But that’s the thing, this is Superman and Johnson has him speak with equal command and compassion, having him state Corben will answer for his actions but still showing empathy towards him It’s actually thanks to how Superman works things out with Metallo that he even knows that there’s a bigger threat out there making his move. Even with the art change, the comic still looks great.
Speaking of which, let’s get to that, yes, the internal artist changed from Rafa Sandoval to Max Raynor. Don’t let the covers fool you, the artist has changed. However, Raynor’s art is still excellent and matches the tone and dynamic energy as Sandoval’s art for the most part, so they’re at least in sync with each other. It also helps that the colors are still provided by Matt Herms who does an equally excellent job with giving the artwork life, especially with the end reveal of the true villain of this whole thing: Hank Henshaw, aka Cyborg Superman. I can’t wait for the next issue and to see what twisted plot Johnson has Cyborg Superman cooking up.
In Action Comics #1054, Metallo and his Necrohive strike again as they ambush Jon and the kids to lure out Superman for a deadly encounter. The action and dialogue in this comic is great, and even with the art change, the comic book’s art is still on point. It also helps that the battle between Superman and Metallo is cool and how Superman resolves things with Corben is well-written and greatly in-character. The comic also reveals who the mastermind pulling Metallo’s strings is, and it’s a face many Superman, let alone DC fans will know, which immediately escalates things for the next issue of Action Comics.